this song is another 'straight shot'.
Just vocal and piano.
I've sung it for years.
I know every inch of it so....
recording it's not really that involved or interesting.
Altho- all you music geeks out there....
I've given you a little gift in the last bar of the piano tag.
A big nerd noogie to whomever can identify the last two bars of music in the piano accompaniment.
As far as the body of the song....
That's the real fun part.
I've often felt that my favorite songs were also my personal 'anthems'.
Songs that, at my funeral would be played and everyone would go,
"Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, how fitting. Yes. Yes, indeed. Very 'her'."
Most of the songs on this album fit into that category...
but none more than this one.
This song by Charlie Chaplin has been a favorite of mine since childhood-
even before I understood the lyrics, really-
which are incredibly true, true, true, true, true.
It is a song in general about emotions-
pretending to be happy when you're sad-
and sad when you're happy...
but since the great comic genius Charlie Chaplin wrote it-
attention must be paid to where the man was actually coming from and what he possibly wanted us to understand about himself.
Btw- are you loving the tone that I have right now-
like Charlie Chaplin and I are best buds and I know every thought that went through his head when he wrote this cause we're 'THISCLOSE'?
God, I know I am.
Comedians are, I think the most underrated actors in all of the profession.
People are always amazed when they turn in decent dramatic performances and then inexplicably hold it against them at the same time.
They rarely win awards for their work which is massively more difficult than their dramatic compatriates-
and having done both genres myself equally-
I'm willing to stand by that statement til the cows come home.
It's a horrible misconception that comedy is easier than drama.
Because nothing could be further from the truth.
Comedic actors are merely dramatic actors with a tougher task to achieve and far less appreciation for it.
And not for nothing- but the same goes for musical theatre performers. Performing in a play is a fucking cake walk compared to being in a musical. Case kuh-losed.
And most comics, once you get to know them- are at their core incredibly insightful and observant people. They are, some not all - also, an endless well of despair and sorrow because they are incredibly insightful and observant. And...most likely have suffered incredible pain. Because otherwise, why develop a sense of humor at all?
I had the incredibly great fortune to work one on one with one of the most talented comediennes on the planet- the iconic and absolutely brilliant Ms Carol Burnett... and even I was amazed at the absolutely ridiculous shit that woman has gone through in her life personally and professionally. She is the perfect example of someone developing a sense of humor to first and foremost- survive. And she is at the same time- the rarest example of someone who has managed to rise above all of that pain and still somehow manage to be one of the most loving, generous, sweet-natured people I've ever met.
She is also the originator of the very famous and couldn't-be-more-true quote of "comedy is tragedy plus time".
and if anyone would know-
it would be her.
And this track is dedicated to her with all the love in my heart.
I'm not saying you have had to have suffered incredibly pain to be funny-
but I know for a fact, that the funniest people I have ever met indeed have suffered intensely at some point in their lives. Sometimes they suffered the most at their own hands-
and in that respect they can be a tremendous pain in the ASS...
what can ya do.
And the people I've met with the poorest senses of humor, while lovely-
absolutely lovely to be around-
have led rather...
sheltered lives in comparison.
I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule but....
I'll be damned if I've seen one up close and personal yet.
So the fact that this song-
was written by arguably one of the greatest clowns that ever lived-
it is one of the purest windows into the soul of people who are not only funny-
but have to be funny for their livelihood even when their worlds are crumbling around them.
There's nothing worse than say, learning of a death in a the family-
and then having to go to jump around like a starking git in a light, frothy British farce.
And, there's nothing better either.
Whereas in a 'regular' job, if you're sitting at your desk-
you might excuse yourself to go to the bathroom if you feel a well of pain come on-
but what do you do when you're singing and dancing center stage for a bunch of people who have no idea what's going on in your life and honestly, did not pay good money to even remotely care.
This, HAVING TO smile when you're sad, and HAVING TO cry when you're happy is the dilemma of the day to day actor that most people don't ever think about- and honestly, why should they. We have a job to do, and that's the gig.
But the real genius of this song....
is that the MUSIC is happy-
and the LYRICS are happy-
it's a terribly terribly sad song.
Usually, when a song is 'sad'-
the music gives it away when the lyrics play against it-
or vice versa-
but this song somehow manages to be BOTH in a major key AND have 'happy' lyrics and still is obviously a very sad song.
And for me-
it encapsulates the life of a comic.
The clown will always make you laugh-
but you'll never really know whether the clown is actually, truly happy.
And that's the way we like it...
...because we are SICK mother fuckers!!!!!!!
i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry....
it was just getting way too 'pat' and hallmarky.
i love you.
i love you mom.
even tho i have a filthy mouth which does not reflect on you AT ALL, i promise-
and it's not even remotely how i was raised.
You hear me everybody?
I was NOT raised to think that using profanity was OK.
I picked that shit up later in college.
And from the gays.
more tomorrow my loves-
off to bed.